The New Labour Experiment: Change and Reform Under Blair and Brown

The New Labour Experiment: Change and Reform Under Blair and Brown

by Florence Faucher-King, Patrick Le Gales
     
 

ISBN-10: 080476235X

ISBN-13: 9780804762359

Pub. Date: 03/12/2010

Publisher: Stanford University Press

This book provides a clear assessment of the New Labour public policies and their outcomes in Britain under the leadership of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown from 1997 to 2009. Authors Florence Faucher-King and Patrick Le Galès argue that New Labour, in contrast to its European counterparts, developed a right-wing economic policy program based on light financial

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Overview

This book provides a clear assessment of the New Labour public policies and their outcomes in Britain under the leadership of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown from 1997 to 2009. Authors Florence Faucher-King and Patrick Le Galès argue that New Labour, in contrast to its European counterparts, developed a right-wing economic policy program based on light financial regulation, strict macroeconomic management, cheap labor, and massive private debt. The large controlling bureaucracy they built made Britain's government one of the most centralized in the world.

While some progressive policies were implemented in the areas of education, immigration, health, and infrastructure, Faucher-King and Le Galès point to an overarching program of authoritative controls, massive surveillance, and illiberal social policies. Profound reforms were therefore linked to a new bureaucratic revolution that has subsequently been rejected by the British people. According to the authors, the financial crisis and the collapse of part of the banking system have decisively signaled the end of the New Labour project.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804762359
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
Publication date:
03/12/2010
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgment ix

Note to Readers x

Foreword Jonah Levy xi

Introduction 1

1 The British Business Model versus the European Social Model 17

The Activist, Innovative State 18

The Resumption of Public Investment 22

A Long-term Project 24

Improving Competitiveness 26

Incentives and Coercion on the Labor Market 29

Social-Democratic Options? 32

The Issue of Inequalities 35

Uneven Achievements 38

2 Bureaucratic Revolution, or Privatization of Public Services? 42

Transformation of Public Action and the State Apparatus: The Thatcher Revolution 44

Think Tanks and the New Labour Elites 47

"Activist" Governments 49

Control through Information 54

Auditing Society 59

3 Decentralizing or Centralizing Institutions? 62

Polycentric and Asymmetrical Governance 64

Constitutional Reform: Tinkering in Progress 71

The "Europeanization" of British Politics? 76

Centralization of the Executive 80

Communications and Rationalization of the Executive 83

4 The Reinvention of the Labour Party. "New Labour, New Britain" 88

Loosening the Links with the Trade Unions 90

Promoting a Direct Relationship with Members 93

A "Managed" and Disciplined Party 96

A Search for Effective and Professional Funding 98

The Party as Communications Enterprise 100

Discussion and Control of the Policy Agenda 101

New Labour's Media Offensive 104

5 Democratization or Control? 110

The Citizen-Consumer 111

Virtual Engagement and Real Funding 115

Participatory Democracy, Democratic Illusion 119

The Return of Protest 122

Order and Security: "Cruel Britannia," 124

Conclusion: Toward a Market Society 133

Postscript: The Fall of New Labour 143

Devolution: From British Politics to National Arenas 147

New Labour and the Global Economic Crisis 149

The Party: What Happens to New Labour? 152

From Crises to Disaster, Catastrophe, and Debacle 155

Notes 159

Bibliography 175

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